Thursday, May 4th:
Star Wars Day! “May the 4th be with you”…. for our one full day in Nairobi, we decide to relax and enjoy the Fairmont Norfolk property, A.K.A. Planet Norfolk in the busy, rushed universe of Nairobi. This is after being scanned and patted in the airport-like security at the hotel’s entryway, considering the insane traffic in Nairobi and the safety warnings we heard about taxis and walking around in general. We also looked into some things to do in Nairobi but after spending plenty of time in big cities and a 5-day safari, nothing was convincing enough to coax me out of the promise of a relaxing day. The layout of the hotel’s courtyard is perfect… there’s a gorgeous, breezy garden area in the centre with cafe seating that faces into the garden. It proves to be exactly what was needed at this point in the trip.
The garden cafe also faces the same spot that our room window looks out to, so while in the room reorganizing my overstuffed backpack (things have been getting tossed in with all the rush), I’m able to see Sher in the cafe if I open the window and lean out far enough. It ends up being fun, we toss things back and forth to each other to save the trip up the stairs and he’s able to order food for me while I’m telling him from the room what I’d like. Feels a little like Romeo and Juliet except less romantic and more practical! While cleaning out our heavy bags, I decide to use a lot of products that I had forgot about. I treat myself to a mini spa with a hydrating face mask, scented shower, manicure, and proper scrub. The slippers and robe are so comfortable… I kind of want to just stay in the room all day like this! I do some laundry but I’m too embarrassed to hang the laundry line in the window here at this nice hotel so I hang the clothes in the room and use the blow dryer to get them dry faster. It’s the first time I’ve seen a blow dryer since we entered Africa and- even more exciting- they have an iron and ironing board! Simple things excite me. I end up ironing almost all my clothes. There’s a good chance they’ll wrinkle in my bag again but it just feels so good to see them pressed and looking decent again, plus a lot of our clothes are still damp from the humidity in Pemba and Mombasa. I eventually join Sher for lunch and we wander around the cozy hotel a bit. It doesn’t take long, it’s not a big place.
Our dinner reservation for tonight is booked for 7:30pm which feels really early but we have to be back at the airport to catch a 6am international flight tomorrow so it makes sense to get to bed early. The restaurant, Tatu, is a step back in time. I can imagine that this is what the foreigners and wealthier Africans used to dine like back in the day. They’re playing old jazz music and the decor is simple and a little rustic but very typical “African” style. I love the black and white photos decorating the walls- portraits of locals in modern and traditional dress. The food is excellent and the service is even better, they seem to be European-trained. And this time I insist that Sher offer me dessert! Haha. It was a good call…. the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream didn’t disappoint.